BA Latin and Linguistics

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
The Roman Empire 31BC - AD235: Rome's Golden Age

Unit code CAHE20052
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Classics & Ancient History
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

This course-unit examines the political system established at Rome by Octavian at the end of the Roman "Republican" period which is normally known as the "Principate" or "High Empire" until the reforms of Emperor Diocletian and the Edict of Milan which granted the Christians freedom of religion.  We will look at the tensions and development in the structures of the state in this period, the role of the army and foreign policy, life in the provinces of the empire, and social issues including religious practices and the rise of Christianity.

Aims

This course is designed to give a thorough knowledge of the period of Roman history known as the principate and also give students the skills to access and interpret the various forms of evidence available for this period.

Learning outcomes

See specific outcomes (below)

Syllabus

This course aims to give students a general overview of the political and social development of the Roman Empire from the establishment of the system known as the principate under the Emperor Augustus to the Edict of Milan in AD 313. . The lectures cover what could broadly be called big political issues, while the seminars focus more on social history. By the end of the course students should have an understanding of how politics at the centre of the Roman Empire functioned, how its provinces were managed, and of the different social classes found in it. Students will also have been introduced to the important aspects of everyday life in the empire and how these affected its different peoples. Remember, the Roman Empire was a big place, so different parts were quite different from one another. A key part of the course is to work out what sort of ‘glue’ held the empire together.

 

Teaching and learning methods

  • 2 x 1 hour lectures per week;
  • 1 x 1 hour seminar per week;
  • 1 dedicated consultation hour per week ;
  • Blackboard: course material, handouts and other supporting materials. 

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course students will  have:

  • acquired a comprehensive knowledge of the history of the Roman empire in the period from 31 BC to AD 235.

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course students will have:

  • developed critical skills in dealing with primary sources and solving the problems presented by such material;
  • acquired considerable ability to carry out independent research, managing the information obtained, and communicating their findings in a coherent and scholarly way.

Practical skills

By the end of this course students will have:

  • participated in activities which involve group discussion as well as individual effort;
  • developed further their computer literacy.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

By the end of this course students will  have:

  • developed critical skills in dealing with primary sources and solving the problems presented by such material;
  • acquired considerable ability to carry out independent research, managing the information obtained, and communicating their findings in a coherent and scholarly way;
  • participated in activities which involve group discussion as well as individual effort;
  • developed further their computer literacy.

Employability skills

Other
The course involves a large number of important employment skills, most notably an ability to analyse and examine a large amount of often difficult information, an ability to see both sides of an argument, the ability to synthesise an argument in a cogent form, the ability to retrieve information from complex sources and present it in a compelling and cogent fashion.

Assessment methods

Assessment task

Length

Weighting within unit

Exam

3 hours

100%

 

Feedback methods

  • When the course is half-way, the students will be offered the possibility of solving a ‘mock’ exam, which follows exactly the same pattern as the exam at the end of the term. Written feedback on this will be given. 

  • Additional one-to-one feedback (during the consultation hour or by making an appointment).

 

Recommended reading

A handbook and a syllabus with texts in translation will be provided on Blackboard.

 

The recommended books for this unit are:

  • C Wells, The Roman Empire (Fontana)
  • Tacitus, Annals (Trans. J Yardley, Oxford University Press)
  • Suetonius, The Lives of the Caesars (Trans. C Edwards, Oxford University Press)

               

Other, indicative reading:

  • Translations of the major works of other ancient writers such as Pliny the Younger, Cassius Dio and       Herodian (among others)
  • Translated documents in N. Lewis and M. Reinhold, Roman Civilization (Vol. II), and in R.K Sherk, From Augustus to Hadrian
  • M Goodman, The Roman World
  • P Garnsey & R Saller, The Roman Empire
  • A.H.M. Jones, Augustus.
  • R Syme, The Roman Revolution
  • David S. Potter, ed., A Companion to the Roman Empire (Wiley-Blackwell)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Seminars 11
Tutorials 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 156

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Christian Laes Unit coordinator

Additional notes


 

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